Spoiler-Free Reviews: THE UNCANNY and TEALIGHT (Romford Horror Festival)

March 6, 2023

Written by Joseph Perry

Joseph Perry is the Film Festival Editor for Horror Fuel; all film festival related queries and announcements should be sent to him at [email protected] He is a contributing writer for the "Phantom of the Movies VideoScope" and “Drive-In Asylum” print magazines and the websites Gruesome Magazine, Diabolique Magazine, The Scariest Things, B&S About Movies, and When It Was Cool. He is a co-host of the "Uphill Both Ways" pop culture nostalgia podcast and also writes for its website. Joseph occasionally proudly co-writes articles with his son Cohen Perry, who is a film critic in his own right. A former northern Californian and Oregonian, Joseph has been teaching, writing, and living in South Korea since 2008.

The Uncanny

Art therapist Zouzou (Marie Laurin) takes the suicide of one of her charges quite painfully, leaving her job and moving to a new area in The Uncanny. Her new home, initially unbeknownst to her, is filled with past traumas and no small amount of dread. Her neighbors and new acquaintances can’t help but notice her increasingly strange behavior, which is caused in part by recurring visits from a young girl. The Uncanny doesn’t offer shocks and gratuitous gore; rather, director Clara Gabrielle — who cowrote the screenplay with Laurin, her mother — focuses more on the drama regarding grief, loss, depression, and the slow decline of sanity, which are heightened here by supernatural forces. The third act does serve up a decidedly eerie set piece, though. Laurin’s hypnotic lead performance is something to behold, with solid assistance from the sizable supporting cast. Gabrielle does an impressive job at the helm, crafting a feature that should give aficionados of meditative, slow-burn horror plenty on which to dwell. 



Writer/director Matt Taylor’s U.K. horror short Tealight finds agoraphobic Evelyn (Vivien Taylor) afraid to open her front door yet yearning to visit her friendly, supportive cousin Nat (Nicole Verhoeven) in Australia. A dark, ominous presence within Everlyn’s home seeks to keep her there, however. Taylor gives a formidable, moving performance of a woman overcome with a phobia, while Verhoeven provides a wonderful supporting turn. Taylor delivers a moving, thoughtful psychological horror work that examines fear and despair with compassion.


THE UNCANNY and TEALIGHT screened as part of Romford Horror Festival, which took place in Romford, U.K. from February 23–26, 2023. For more information, visit http://www.romfordhorrorfestival.com/.


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